Tarangire Safari Lodge

Tarangire Safari Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
35 tents, 5 triple bungalows
Traveller's rating
Excellent (94%) From 7 reviews
Children
Best for 8+
Open
All year

Tarangire Safari Lodge is a substantial family owned and managed lodge situated 10km inside the main gate of Tarangire National Park. It was originally built in 1970 making it the oldest lodge in the park, and its position on the escarpment ridge gives it impressive views over the baobab and acacia woodlands down to the Tarangire River – but also places it in the heart of the park's busiest area.

The main areas at Tarangire Safari Lodge are characterised by rather imposing thatched roofs, which house a central lounge/bar area where chunky wooden chairs and coffee tables. The views from here are impressive and it provides a good place to relax. A stone veranda wraps around this central area and has truly stunning views; it's a very peaceful spot to enjoy a sundowner, and a drinks and snack station is set up here in the evening, with plentiful seating to sit and watch the sunset. The dining room, just off the main lounge/bar area, is fairly large and perfectly adequate, if a little soulless.

Outside the main entrance there is a shaded area that has informative notice boards and a very detailed map of the park. Tarangire Safari Lodge also has a small but very stocked shop selling a range of curios and travel essentials, and a swimming pool surrounded by sun loungers, which are very welcome in the heat of the day. There's also a slide into the pool which the children were enjoying on our last visit.

The 'rooms' at Tarangire Safari Lodge consist of 35 tents and five bungalows, divided into two wings of 13 tents on the right of the main area, and five bungalows and the rest of the tents on the left.

Each of the tents is suspended under thatch and is fairly simple. The beds can be either doubles or twins, and you'll find a writing desk and a canvas luggage rack. The basic bathroom is at the back of the tent, behind a zipped canvas partition. Here there is a single sink, a large hot and cold shower and a flushing toilet, these last separated by a curtain for privacy.

The circular bungalows are constructed from stone and thatch, and each houses three beds, so they're a good option for families. They have spacious bathrooms with proper closing doors, and the windows are glass slats covered with mosquito gauze, so you can open them to let in the breeze. The bungalows are large enough that extra beds can be added to make a triple or quadruple room.

All these rooms at Tarangire Safari Lodge are kitted out with basic toiletries, a torch, insect repellent, a whistle for attracting attention and an umbrella.

It's worth noting that the lodge tries hard to be wheelchair friendly for active, disabled visitors, and most of their rooms and communal areas are on one level.

In 2013 the lodge added a spa – effectively a small room with a massage table – which offers a range of massages and treatments overlooking the Tarangire River. Massages start from $30 for 30 minutes and go up to $70 for 90 minutes. Yoga classes are also available, and with spa treatments, guests should enquire about these on arrival.

Our view

The size of Tarangire Safari Lodge means it is impersonal compared with some of the smaller bush camps, especially as it is a popular choice with some larger tour groups. However, the lodge is considerably less costly than other options in the park, and so offers a good choice for those on a budget. The tents are basic but comfortable and the atmosphere is relaxed. It has a lovely location with stunning views – but this is a busy area where you'll see a lot of other vehicles and visitors. It is well geared for children, so could be a great option for families on a budget.

Geographics

Location: Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Ideal length of stay: 2–3 nights to explore the Tarangire River area. Many lower-budget safaris stop here for just one night; we think that would be far too rushed for comfort – and would restrict all drives to the busy area around the lodge.

Directions: The lodge is around a 30 minute drive from the main park gates. It is approximately 2.5 hours drive from Arusha.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Jonathan Simonson

Staff: 56

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: Meals at Tarangire Safari Lodge are all self-service buffets, although many guests opt to take a boxed lunch out with them rather than return to the lodge in the middle of the day. The lodge describes their food as 'international cuisine', and whilst we felt that they were trying hard, we found the dinner selection a little uninspiring and the quality variable on our last stay in October 2018. Soup, salad, grilled meat and fish were available on the buffet, and for desert we were we served individual portions of passion fruit mousse and apple cake at our table. The breakfast selection was good, with all the hot and cold choices you’d expect; from cereals, fruit and a cold meat platter, to an egg and pancake station..

The lodge can cater for special dietary requirements with advance notice.

Complimentary tea and coffee are available throughout the day at the bar.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Drinks are an extra cost. Expect to pay around $5 for a beer and $2 for soft drinks.

Further dining info: Not possible.

Children

Attitude towards children: The camp welcomes children.

Property’s age restrictions: There is no minimum age at Tarangire Safari Lodge.

Special activities & services: Tarangire Safari Lodge serves a special children's meal at an earlier time. They also have a pool with a slide and child minding can be arranged.

Equipment: They can provide cots and highchairs on request.

Notes: Parents must note that children are their responsibility, and should be supervised at all times. Due to the lcose proximity of wildlife, children should never walk around the lodge unaccompanied - even in the day.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Generator

Power supply notes: There are no charging points in the tents. Batteries and small electronic items can be charged in the main area, when the generator is on between 05:45-10:00 and 18:00-23:00. Once the generator is switched off there are no lights in the tents, although solar powered lamps are provided.

Communications: There is average WiFi in the lounge area and outside terrace.

TV & radio: There is no TV or radio here.

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: Filtered water is supplied for drinking.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: Tarangire Safari Lodge has a basic first-aid kit. For more serious cases the nearest large hospital is in Arusha.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: Askaris (Maasai guards) patrol the camp at night.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers outside each guest tent and dotted around the lodge.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Laundry is available at an extra cost ($1-$3 per item). It is hand washed and line dried so will take a day, dependent on the weather. Undergarments are not accepted.

Money: There are no safes in the tents or bungalow, but you can give any valuables to reception for safe keeping.

Accepted payment on location: Tarangire Safari Lodge accepts payment in cash – either US dollars or pounds sterling. You can also pay with Visa and MasterCard with a 3% surcharge.

X  Close